"Gun violence in this country is an epidemic and it’s an international embarrassment.” - President Joe Biden
This Week in Tallahassee
With just 3 weeks left in this year's session of the Florida Legislature, many important issues are approaching final votes.
HB1 - the DeSantis anti-protesting bill, narrowly passed through the Senate Appropriations Committee last week despite strong public opposition. It moves to a vote of the full Senate this week. (The House has already approved it.) Thanks are due to Sen. Jeff Brandes, the lone Republican who voted against it in committee. Before it's too late, write your state Senator and urge a no vote against this unnecessary and unconstitutional measure.
Other vital bills deserve our attention. Sadly, in all cases we should urge our elected officials to vote NO:
SB 90 - Undermines Vote-by-Mail voting. Goes to the Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday.
SB582 - Anti-LGBTQ+ and Minority Students. Has passed House, urge Senate to vote No.
Thursday, April 15 - How to Help Ex-Felons Vote
Join members of BAM, NOW, League of Women Voters, Mandarin Indivisible & Beaches Democratic Club this Thursday night at 7 pm for a special, joint Zoom conversation with Desmond Meade, co-founder & current President of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.
Learn the latest on the long struggle to make the promise of Amendment 4 a reality, and find out how you can help. All are welcome, but registration is required.
Support President Biden's Big Dream
As Congress returns from recess, it's time to be in touch with our representatives - and our neighbors - on issues we care about. Here's a solid overview of President Biden's exciting Infrastructure plan, which polls show a majority of the country support. Call or write Senator Rubio & Senator Scott and urge them to put the nation's health above their party's obstructionist leadership. And once you've mastered some of the details, fire off a letter to the editor as well to help build the a groundswell of support.
Don't Take Our Tree Canopy for Granted
Thanks to any BAM members who attended the public meeting last Saturday on the Atlantic Beach tree code. The proposed changes will clarify & strengthen existing regs. If you support them, it's not too late to let city officials know. Contact the Mayor and City Commissioners via email.
Ellen Glasser email@example.com
Bruce Bole firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Waters email@example.com
Candace Kelly firstname.lastname@example.org
Brittany Norris email@example.com
Or write one email to them all at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ways to Support Local Journalism
Whether you're trying to follow the action in Tallahassee, or wondering what happened at the last School Board meeting, it's impossible not to notice how the hollowing out of print journalism has reduced the information available to even the most eager-to-be-informed citizen. We can't remake the nation's information economy overnight, but here are 2 small steps we can take:
Since Gannett bought the Times Union in 2017, 42 people have left the paper and the newsroom is now down to just 22 employees. Click here to join the Newspaper Guild at the Times Union in urging their owners to build and diversify their team & improve our local news coverage.
Consider subscribing or donating to the Florida Phoenix, a nonprofit news site whose small staff of 5 provides much of BAM's news from Tallahassee.
Reasons to be Hopeful
While we're all still reeling from the heinous voter suppression bills passed in Georgia & proposed in Texas, the flagrant nature of these and many of the other measures proposed in other states has created an encouraging backlash - from corporate America. In addition to Major League Baseball pulling the All Star game from GA, more than 100 corporate leaders met by Zoom this past weekend to discuss ways to work together to oppose this wave of anti-democratic legislation. This action comes on top of the initial protest letter organized by more than 70 Black business executives.
Mitch McConnell has already told these companies to mind their own business & stay out of politics. They will undoubtedly also face criticism from some of their customers. If you appreciate their strong stand, let them know.